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Tennis world unites to honour ex-British No1 Elena Baltacha from Suffolk with auction to battle cancer

A global, online, auction created in memory of former British number one tennis player Elena Baltacha, from Ipswich, will take place in November.

love all will raise money for grassroots and community tennis programmes in Suffolk and Scotland, alongside international screening and research into women’s cancers and palliative care for young adults with cancer and life limiting illnesses in East Anglia through Zest (part of the St Elizabeth Hospice family).

The auction is the brainchild of love all co-founders, Gina Long MBE of Bury St Edmunds, who established the GeeWizz children’s charity, and Nino Severino, Elena’s Baltacha’s husband and coach who founded a foundation in memory of his late wife to continue her legacy in introducing tennis to disadvantaged children in Ipswich.

loveall auction - Judy Murray
loveall auction - Judy Murray

The auction, to be launched on November 4, will feature memorabilia, artworks and unique experiences from the worlds of tennis, sport, music, entertainment, visual arts and hospitality. A unique collection of over 100 lots, including many East Anglian lot donors,will be announced in the coming months.

Elena Baltacha sadly lost her battle to cancer in 2014, aged just 30 years old. Elena, or “Bally”, as she was affectionately known, had strong ties with East Anglia. Her father Sergai Baltacha, a Ukranian professional footballer, played for Ipswich Town FC from 1988–90. While competing at some of the world's most prestigious international tennis tournaments, she was passionate about introducing tennis to children in Ipswich who would not normally have the chance to play the sport.

“It is so heartening to see the tennis and the East Anglian community uniting in the spirit of love all in memory of Elena, and all those around the world whose lives have been shattered by this terrible disease, ” said Nino Severino.

loveall logo
loveall logo

“The auction will enable us to deliver a two-year tennis programme starting in primary schools across Ipswich and ultimately across Suffolk. We have also nominated Zest to receive proceeds to provide palliative care for young adults with cancer and life limiting illnesses across East Anglia.”

As well as the Elena Baltacha Foundation and Zest, proceeds from love allwill support the Murray Play Foundation, established by Judy Murray, to operate tennis outreach programmes in disadvantaged communities in the catchment around Dunblane Scotland, WTA Charities Aceing Cancer Campaign supporting international screening, care and research into women’s cancer andGeeWizz children’s charity to fund community tennis disability programmes for children with special educational needs through LTA Suffolk and vital research by Sarcoma UK, the bone and soft tissue cancer charity.

“The widespread support and generosity from Suffolk companies and individuals has been truly overwhelming,” said Gina Long. “Without their support from the outset, the auction would not have been possible. I would like to acknowledge, our many East Anglian auction lot donors, to be announced in November, but especially auctioneers Lacy, Scott & Knight and Coastline of Bury St Edmunds, Healey’s Print in Ipswich and Enable Services in Martlesham.”

Marking the auction announcement, loveall has released beautifully designed and sustainably manufactured wristbands to raise awareness about the cause.The wristbands are available from today at loveallauction.com, to coincide with the lead up to Wimbledon, where Elena Baltacha was always a firm crowd favourite.

The tennis world has been hit by cancer in many different ways, and in the wake of Elena's death in 2014, the tennis family united in the Rally 4 Bally campaign to raise funds for her Foundation. Now the international tennis community is ready to come together again to help the many people from all walks of life affected by this awful disease.

love allare inviting their supporters to share the love by taking a selfie with their wristband and posting @loveallauctionwith the hashtag #loveallauction.

For further information, visit www.loveallauction.com

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